Why Does It Matter If It Is The Left Or Right Leg
This is important because of the motion of switching between pedals. If the surgery was performed on the left leg that you will be able to return to driving as soon as you are off pain meds and can safely get into the car.
If you had hip surgery on the right leg then you will have to wait longer to drive. The motion of switching from the gas pedal to the brake pedal can be problematic. When you are sitting with the hip flexed or bent above 90 degrees this increases the risk of hip impingement which is what you dont want after surgery.
When Can I Travel
You may travel as soon as you feel comfortable, but it is recommended that long trips be avoided for two weeks after surgery due to an increased risk of blood clots in the legs. If a long trip is unavoidable in the early post-operative period, we recommend that you get up to stretch or walk for at least 10 minutes per hour to decrease the risk of a blood clot.
What Is A Total Knee Replacement
A total knee replacement is a cartilage replacement with an artificial surface. The knee itself is not replaced. However, an artificial substitute for the cartilage is inserted on the end of the bones. This is done with a metal alloy on the femur and plastic spacer on the tibia and kneecap . This creates a new smooth cushion and a functioning joint that does not hurt.
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How Soon Can I Return To Work After Meniscus Surgery
The recovery time for meniscus surgery depends largely on what type of surgery you have. How soon you can get back to work will also depend on the type of work you doyou might miss a week of work or as much as three to six months.
Tears in the meniscusthe cartilage between the thigh and shin bonesare common. Sometimes doctors will recommend meniscus repair surgery, in which the torn edges are sutured back together. This is more commonly used in people under age 30.
For people over age 30, repair is often not possible because of age-related deterioration of the cartilage. In that case, the surgical approach will be removal of the damaged portions of the meniscus, a procedure called meniscectomy.
Youre likely to have better long-term results with a meniscus repair, but the healing time is longer.
Meniscus repair recovery
While everyones recovery is different, heres what you can typically expect with a repair surgery:
- You may be on crutches for four to six weeks.
- If your job mostly involves sitting at a desk, you may be able to get back to work in a week or two.
- If your job requires being on your feet, you could be off work four to six weeks.
- For a very physically active job or a return to sports, plan on a three- to six-month recovery period.
With a meniscectomy, youll be back in action more quickly. Heres what you may expect:
How to heal faster
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Reasons For Needing Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Candidates for arthroscopic surgery range from someone who has gradually worsening pain with knee crepitus or knee grinding to someone with ligament or cartilage damage needing to be repaired or removed.
Common complaints from patients are my knee hurts when I bend it and straighten it or I have a sharp pain in my knee.
For the purposes of this article, we will discuss the recovery process of common and less involved surgeries of arthroscopic debridement and partial meniscectomy knee surgeries, sometimes referred to as knee scopes.
The goal of this article is to talk about the recovery of a routine debridement or meniscectomy, however its worth taking a second to explain why they differ from more involved procedures.
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What Are Good Positions For My Knee What Positions Should I Avoid
You should spend some time each day working on strengthening your knee as well as bending your knee . A good way to work on extension is to place a towel roll underneath your ankle when youre lying down. A good way to work on flexion is to sit on a chair or stationary bicycle and bend your knee. Avoid using a pillow or a towel roll behind the knee for any length of time.
Surgical Options For Torn Meniscus
Meniscus tears can be treated by meniscus removal , meniscus repair, or in unusual circumstances, meniscus replacement. Since the goal of surgery is to preserve healthy meniscus, meniscus repair is attempted when the tear is repairable.
Meniscectomy, removal of the damaged meniscus tissue, has good short term results but leads to the development of arthritis ten to twenty years later.
Meniscus repair also has good results, but has a longer recovery time than meniscectomy and is limited to tears which are amenable to repair.
Meniscus replacement is considered for young, active patients who have previously had most of their meniscus removed, and develop pain in the area without having advanced degenerative changes to the articular cartilage. Please see meniscus replacement for additional information.
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What Happens During Surgery
The orthopaedic surgeon will make a few small incisions in your knee. A sterile solution will be used to fill the knee joint and rinse away any cloudy fluid. This helps your orthopaedic surgeon see your knee clearly and in great detail.
Your surgeons first task is to properly diagnose your problem. He will insert the arthroscope and use the image projected on the screen to guide it. If surgical treatment is needed, your surgeon will insert tiny instruments through another small incision. These instruments might be scissors, motorized shavers, or lasers.
This part of the procedure usually lasts 30 minutes to over an hour. How long it actually takes depends upon the findings and the treatment necessary.
Arthroscopy for the knee is most commonly used for:
- Removal or repair of torn meniscal cartilage
- Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament
- Trimming of torn pieces of articular cartilage
- Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
- Removal of inflamed synovial tissue
Your surgeon may close your incisions with a stitch or steri-strips and cover them with a soft bandage.
Is Knee Surgery Worth It
Each year in the United States, surgeons perform more than 650,000 arthroscopic surgeries.
Each one costs an average of $5,000. That makes knee surgery a $3.2 billion business. Worldwide, each year it is performed more than 2 million times.
Over the years, researchers have tried to learn if surgery is fulfilling its promise relative to alternative treatments.
These studies serve as the basis for medical recommendations and advice.
Toward that end, a new rapid recommendation may help you decide among treatment options.
Its based on the review of a randomized trial .
A panel of 18 experts issued the recommendation. In it, they strongly suggest that arthroscopic surgery offers little to no benefit over exercise therapy.
The recommendation applies to nearly all people with degenerative knee disease.
In making their recommendation, the panel focused on patient perspective. The impact on society itself, including any cost savings for health funders, was not considered.
The authors feel certain enough in their conclusion that they wrote the following: Further research is unlikely to alter this recommendation.
It must be noted that the authors assumed certain lifestyle priorities regarding peoples choices and values.
Their recommendation targets those who they believe place greater emphasis on the downsides of arthroscopic surgery. Often, it was found, any benefit from surgery disappears within a year.
He agrees with some, but not all, of the recommendations.
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Are There Discharge Instructions For Knee Arthroscopic Surgery
All the patients who are discharged after a surgery are provided with discharge instructions to take care of themselves while at home. These instructions have information regarding medications, bracing, crutches, activities etc. They are also informed to take an appointment with he physician usually in one week after the surgery.
How Soon Will I Be Up And About
The staff will help you to get up and walk about as quickly as possible. If you’ve had keyhole surgery or are on an enhanced recovery programme, you may be able to walk on the same day as your operation. Generally, you’ll be helped to stand within 12 to 24 hours after your operation.
Walking with a frame or crutches is encouraged. Most people are able to walk independently with sticks after about a week.
During your stay in hospital, a physiotherapist will teach you exercises to help strengthen your knee. You can usually begin these the day after your operation. It’s important to follow the physiotherapist’s advice to avoid complications or dislocation of your new joint.
It’s normal to have initial discomfort while walking and exercising, and your legs and feet may be swollen.
You may be put on a passive motion machine to restore movement in your knee and leg. This support will slowly move your knee while you are in bed. It helps to decrease swelling by keeping your leg raised and helps improve your circulation.
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How To Get In/out Of The Car After Hip Surgery
There are a couple of easy steps that you can do to make it easier to get into or out of a car after an arthroscopic hip surgery.
How Successful Is Knee Arthroscopic Surgery For Osteoarthritis
Knee arthroscopic surgery just for osteoarthritis usually has the short-term relief in pain and swelling but if the patient has complications secondary to arthritis that may be causing the worsening of pain, then these patients have good results in pain relief as well as improvement in function. Examination along with radiological tests like x-ray and MRI are helpful to select such patients.
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What Is A Knee Arthroscopy
A knee arthroscopy is a common surgical procedure in which a joint is viewed using a small camera. An arthroscopy gives doctors a clear view of the inside of the knee and this can help them diagnose and treat knee problems. The term arthroscopy comes from two Greek words arthro and skopein .
During the procedure, your orthopaedic surgeon makes some small incisions into the skin and inserts the arthroscope into your knee joint. The arthroscope sends the image to a television monitor. On the monitor, your surgeon can see the structures of the knee in great detail, and can assess the amount or type of injury. Any problems can be repaired or corrected if necessary.
Along with the scope, fine instruments can be inserted through the incisions. These instruments can be used to trim any damaged ligaments or remove any loose bodies. This type of surgery has been shown to be far less traumatic to the muscles, ligaments and tissues of the knee.
The arthroscopy can also be used as a diagnostic tool before moving to an open procedure.
Technical advances have led to high definition monitors and high resolution cameras. These and other improvements have made arthroscopy a very effective tool for treating knee problems. It is reported that more than 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.
When Can I Drive
You can drive as soon as you feel comfortable, but YOU MUST NOT DRIVE IF YOU ARE TAKING NARCOTICS! If you drive a standard transmission vehicle and had surgery on your left knee, you should wait one week before driving to avoid causing more pain/irritation from operating the clutch. If you need to drive long distances within two weeks after your surgery, you should take frequent breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk for 10 minutes per hour to decrease the risk of a blood clot forming.
Dos And Donts After Knee Surgery
After knee surgery, youll likely encounter challenges and pain on your path to recovery. While it may seem difficult, remember that what happens after your surgery is just as important as the surgery itself.
Here are some dos and donts to help you recover:
If you experience problems during recovery, call your doctor immediately for proper healing and to prevent further health issues.
Can You Walk Right Away After Meniscus Surgery
How soon you can walk after meniscus surgery depends on whether the surgery was open or arthroscopic, whether it was a partial or total removal of the meniscus, or whether the meniscus was repaired. In any case, patients are usually advised to stay off their feet and the use of crutches may be advised for at least several days. A knee brace may also be recommended. It may take several weeks before patients can walk without a knee brace and months before they have healed enough to return to sports.
Recovery from arthroscopic meniscus repair usually requires a period of limited weight-bearing , limited motion, and sometimes use of a knee brace. It usually takes about 4 to 8 weeks for patients to increase weight bearing and range of motion. Most patients can walk without a knee brace and crutches in about 2 to 3 months.
Recovery time from a partial meniscectomy is quicker than recovery from a meniscus repair. Patients are usually advised to used crutches for a few days and to take it easy for 10 to 14 days, but most can increase activity levels at their own pace after that if they do not experience any pain. For those who have strenuous occupations, the recovery time may be up to 6 to 8 weeks before they can fully resume physically demanding activities.
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When Should You Call For Help
anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out .
- You have severe trouble breathing.
- You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.
or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have pain that does not go away after you take pain medicine.
- You have loose stitches, or your incisions come open.
- Bright red blood has soaked through the bandage over your incision.
- You have signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from the incision.
- Pus draining from the incision.
- Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits, or groin.
- A fever.
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You feel a catching or locking in your knee.
- You are sick to your stomach or cannot keep fluids down.
- You have swelling, tingling, pain, or numbness in your toes that does not go away when you raise your knee above the level of your heart.
- You do not have a bowel movement after taking a laxative.
Showering After Knee Replacement Surgery
One very popular myth about showering after knee replacement surgery is the belief that you need to avoid taking a bath for the short-term after replacement surgery. For decades, patients who underwent knee replacement surgery were under the impression that they could not submerge the healing area for at least 14 days or at least until after the skin staples were removed to avoid accidental loss of sutures.
For most patients, this rule was unpleasant. The majority of patients want to go home, bathe and get rid of all the tape marks, and feel clean. Well, now a study shows that this time-honored advice is unnecessary in most patients.
Research at Loyola School
Researchers at Loyola School of medicine recently conducted a study about showering after knee replacement surgery. This study was done by comparing the bacterial skin counts of patients who shower 48 hours after knee arthroplasty to patients who waited between 10-14 days.
Once researchers swabbed the skin near the incision of the patients who had just bathed. They analyzed microscopic skin cells to see if there was a difference in the bacterial count in the patients who had showered 48-hours after surgery versus the patients who delayed bathing for 10-14 days. Upon reviewing the data, they found there was no patient in either group developed any signs of infection and, therefore, that there was no reason to wait two-weeks before showering after knee replacement surgery.
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